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Paints are the favourite subject for an artist to talk about. They somehow think that spending large amounts of money on the most expensive paints in the world will somehow be the magical ingredient to making them a beautiful artist. Sadly its not the paints that make the artist but the artists skills and techniques.

In the same vain it is however true to say that you cant make a silk purse out of a pigs ear, that is to say that no matter how good an artist you are your paintings will be compromised by the quality of the materials you use. So the truth is that both are important to a degree.


Student or Artist Quality

This is a question that I am often asked and the answer is that there is no question that Artist quality paints are essential if you want to paint that masterpiece that will become an air loom for your grandchildren, Student paints also have their place and indeed the lower quality materials which are available. Their place comes where someone wishes to try out water colour painting but they are not sure if they are going to like it. The high costs of Paints means that a starter set of Artists quality paints can cost so much money that people will be deterred from buying them. This is where Student quality paints have their market as they save on initial costs and allow people to have a try of painting without the risk of so much money, if they don't like it in the end.
The reason why Artist quality paints are so important is the qualities that they produce when used. Artist quality paints use high quality ingredients, which produce more vibrant colours and have a better permanence so that they don't fade with time. Student quality paints have much cheaper ingredients which are a compromise to keep the costs down and hence not as good. Artist quality paints are also ground to a finer consistency which take more time to manufacture but the pay off is that they are much more manageable on the paper and do not produce the graining effect so much.


Tube Paint or Pans

Tube paints or pans is a question that does not really have a definitive answer. This is because different artists have differing opinions and in my own eyes I use both in the appropriate place.
There is no question in my own mind that for the best painting qualities that tube paints are king. I always use them in the studio unless I have run out of a colour and then I will fall back on a pan to keep me going if I have to. The fluid qualities of the tube paint means that you can squeeze out as much paint as you need and mix readily in double quick time and if you need a large wash for an area, working a pan of paint never quite gets the depth of colour in the wash or the quantity of paint. This will become more apparent if you look at the painting techniques pages, where you will see that you always need to make enough paint mix to complete an area as you will never quite mix the same colour in a second batch. be continued (still being written)

Pete Ormroyde 2005
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